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Ridgeway on WiFi: Not so fast

First Posted: 9:50 am - June 17th, 2015

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RIDGEWAY — Ridgeway Town Council adopted a water usage rate increase, decided to seek further information about providing WiFi to downtown Ridgeway and approved renting town property for the creation of a new health and wellness center.

“We’re roughly increasing to about 6 percent,” said Councilman Doug Porter.

The cost of service for all classes of customer increased by $1.

“We’ve gone up every year, because Winnsboro has gone up,” explained Town Clerk Vivian Case.

Council voted unanimously to give the Town of Ridgeway’s budget second and final reading. Porter commended Case on her work preparing Ridgeway’s budget.

Case was also recognized during the meeting for serving the Town of Ridgeway for 10 years.

“Vivian has been with us 10 years,” said Mayor Charlene Herring. “We just want to say we do appreciate you, Vivian.”

After receiving a presentation from TruVista at a previous meeting about the possibility of providing wireless internet access to downtown Ridgeway, council discussed the possibility of WiFi for downtown Ridgeway.

“The only problem I have is this is expensive on a recurring basis,” said Councilman Russ Brown.

The proposed WiFi plan would cost the Town $498.08 per month.

Brown said the WiFi TruVista provides to businesses in downtown Ridgeway is inconsistent and often falters under heavy traffic.

“I’ve had complaints from several people downtown, including myself, that you can’t get work done, because internet is inconsistent,” Brown said.

Brown said he would like to see the quality of service improve before the town considers entering a long-term agreement.

Councilman Heath Cookendorfer echoed the sentiments.

“I know as a residential account, we have problems all the time as well,” Cookendorfer said.

Council agreed it would be best to pursue further information before reaching a decision.

Cookendorfer said the Town of Ridgeway continues to seek sponsors for its monthly movie in the yard presentations.

“We’re still looking for a sponsor to step up,” Cookendorfer said.

He said it costs approximately $350 to screen a movie, and that the cost could be covered by multiple sponsors.

Council discussed attempts to recoup $8,740.06, which was spent replacing a fire hydrant on Dogwood Street that was struck by a car.

It had been anticipated that the cost of fixing the damaged hydrant would be reimbursed by an insurance company, but the vehicle, which struck the hydrant, was reported as stolen.

“So we’re responsible for this figure, because a fire hydrant was hit by a stolen car?” Brown asked. Case responded affirmatively.

Council approved the purchase of a bush hog for $899.

After executive session, Ridgeway Town Council also announced a decision to rent the property formerly known as Deanne’s Creations for use as a health center. During public comment, Virginia Schafer shared the vision for the health and wellness center with council.

“What our goal is, is to put together a health and wellness center,” Schafer said, adding the center will include a retail space and service center. “We also have a nonprofit facet of the wellness center.”

She said the center will actively work with Women Helping Other Women, among other organizations.

“It’s going to encompass many different non-profit endeavors,” Schafer said.

Ridgeway Town Council next meets at 6:30 p.m. June 9 at the Century House.

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